PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver Antonio Brown is inching toward a return from a left calf injury.
Brown hasn’t played since injuring the calf in the first half of a loss to New England on Dec. 17. He posted video of himself working out on a treadmill on Monday. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says he ran into Brown on Tuesday and believes Brown’s rehab is “going well.”
The AFC North champion Steelers have the week off before hosting a playoff game on Jan. 14. Tomlin says if Pittsburgh had been forced to play this weekend there’s a chance Brown would be in the lineup.
Pittsburgh has given offensive lineman Mike Munchak permission to talk with the Arizona Cardinals about their vacant head coaching job. Munchak is in his fourth season with the Steelers.
Palmer retires after 15 seasons
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is retiring after 15 NFL seasons.
Palmer, who turned 38 last week, made the announcement in an open letter released Tuesday by the Cardinals. Palmer missed the last nine games of what would be his final season with a broken left arm.
He called his long professional career “the most incredible experience of my life.”
The statement came one day after Cardinals coach Bruce Arians announced his retirement. Arians and Palmer spent the last five seasons together.
“When I entered the league, I was a 23-year-old kid,” Palmer wrote. “I’m leaving a 38-year-old husband and father of four with memories and experiences that I will treasure for the rest of my life. And like most things in life, it feels like it all passed in a blink of an eye.”
Bills fans flooding Dalton with donations
CINCINNATI (AP) — Giddy Buffalo fans are making a surge in donations to Andy Dalton’s foundation, their way of thanking the Bengals quarterback for his role in the Bills’ long-awaited playoff appearance.
Dalton’s foundation reported Tuesday it has received more than $170,000 in donations since the Bengals beat the Ravens 31-27 on Sunday . Dalton threw a 49-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left to eliminate the Ravens and open a spot for the Bills.
The Bills got the final AFC wild-card berth and ended their 17-year postseason drought, the longest among North America’s four major professional sports.
Bills fans are thanking Dalton by donating to his foundation. He was surprised and thankful for the reaction by Bills fans.
“I think I’m the hottest guy in Buffalo right now,” Dalton said Monday. “According to my Twitter, I think everybody’s loving us right now. Obviously that’s a crazy fan base and they’re all pretty excited.”
Bengals give Lewis extension
CINCINNATI (AP) — Coach Marvin Lewis got a two-year contract extension Tuesday, providing more chances to try to get the Cincinnati Bengals that playoff victory that has eluded him for 15 seasons.
The agreement came after a second straight losing season and two days of discussions with owner Mike Brown. Lewis has the second-longest active coaching tenure in the NFL, behind Bill Belichick’s 18 seasons with New England.
Unlike Belichick, who has won five Super Bowls and made two other appearances in the title game, Lewis is 0-7 in the playoffs, the worst coaching record in NFL history. The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season, the sixth-longest streak of futility in league history.
“Marvin has made significant contributions during his time here,” Brown said in a statement.
Garrett remains optimistic about Prescott
FRISCO, Texas — Dak Prescott’s statistics in his second season didn’t match the Rookie of the Year numbers he put up a year before.
In the second half of the season, Prescott threw for more than 200 yards just twice. He threw nine interceptions during that stretch after throwing only four all of last season.
In his final news conference of the season Tuesday, head coach Jason Garrett confirmed that he’s not concerned about his quarterback’s play. Garrett said he’s “absolutely” as optimistic about Prescott’s future as he was at this time last year.
“I think he’s absolutely the right kind of guy to have as the quarterback of your organization,” Garrett said. “I think he’s demonstrated that time and time again. Now, if you pull back and look at what he’s done in his first two years of his career, he’s won 22 out of 32 games, he’s 22-10 as a starting quarterback in the National Football League. You reflect back at other quarterbacks as they have started their careers no one has really had that kind of success like he has.”
— The Dallas Morning News